NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco on Tuesday announced his second-in-command: Maj. Brian Head.
Then he promptly made him a colonel.
"One of my first priorities as your sheriff is to establish a viable chain-of-command that fosters communication and provides strong leadership, service and support to all members of the agency," Nocco wrote in a memo to Sheriff's Office employees. He said he created the position of colonel "to assist me with the management and administration of the day to day operations of the agency."
Nocco was appointed to the position by Gov. Rick Scott last week and sworn in on Sunday to serve out Bob White's term until the elections in 2012. After 11 years in office, White announced in March that he was retiring to spend more time with his granddaughter. White had an undersheriff, Col. Al Nienhuis, who left at the beginning of the year after being appointed to serve as Hernando County sheriff. After Nienhuis left, White got rid of the second-in-command position.
Head, 46, was also a front-runner with Nocco for the appointment. He was hired in February 2001 and oversees the jail. Head grew up in Michigan and came to Florida after his high school graduation in 1983, according to his personnel file. He worked in computers until getting hired by the Florida Department of Corrections in 1987. He rose to the rank of senior inspector and worked there until he was hired by the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
White expressed his confidence in Head in a performance review in 2009 — Head's last review before becoming a part of the command staff, whose members are exempt from reviews. White called him an "excellent leader who is highly respected throughout the entire agency."
"His no-nonsense attitude and his desire to always do what is right is very much appreciated," White wrote. "Major Head's value to this administration and to the citizens of Pasco County is immeasurable."
Taking over Head's duties overseeing the jail will be Capt. Ed Beckman, 45, who has been promoted to the rank of major.
Lt. Ray Revell, 39, who also works in the detention center, was promoted to captain, moving into Beckman's position as operations division commander.
"The presence of a second-in-command will also greatly assist me in my endeavor to ensure my executive staff functions as one 'Unified Team' in applying policies across bureaus and that decisions are made and communicated in a timely manner," Nocco wrote in his memo.
Head's salary will increase from $108,621 a year to $125,000 a year, said Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. Tobin said Beckman's salary will increase from $92,323 a year to $108,621 and Revell will go from $77,814 to $92,323.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.